In today’s workplace, compliance is something we all have to deal with.
For some organizations, staying compliant is frustrating and seems to create many headaches of varying size, like audits, investigations, lawsuits, and expensive settlements. For others, compliance is rarely ever an issue, or if it is, then it’s resolved quickly and doesn’t require escalation.
Where does your company fall on the spectrum of compliance issues?
If this is a sore spot for you, then perhaps your team needs to dig a little deeper to find the root of the problem.
What Compliance Really Comes Down To
When there are regular issues like bullying and harassment, neglecting safety protocols, or careless use of protected data, you have to look deeper than whether or not the rules are being upheld in order to rectify the problem.
If your compliance training is being ignored or not taken seriously, then look around and ask yourself if your leaders and managers are exhibiting two key characteristics: respect and integrity. In fact, do more than ask yourself – ask your teams. Use anonymous survey tools to find out if respect and integrity are rampant in your company’s culture.
If your leadership is prone to cutting corners, showing bias in interactions with others, or nonchalant about safety in the workplace, then that is going to affect how every employee views the organization’s stance on compliance. It can even make it easier to justify unethical behavior when leaders are lax in these areas.
“In the long run, a positive culture of integrity is the foundation for an effective ethics and compliance program, which, when properly embedded into an organization, can create a competitive advantage and serve as a valuable organizational asset.”
Respect and integrity must be visible at the top if you’re looking to shift your culture toward one that highly values compliance.
A Culture of Safety and Security Leads to Higher Performance
It should be obvious that employees who don’t feel safe physically or emotionally in the workplace won’t be able to deliver their highest performance potential. When culture allows harassment or unsafe conditions to go unchecked, productivity losses can become just as expensive as lawsuits.
When people care about each other’s safety and well-being, they’ll make a point to fix or clean up things that may not have been their fault. Say there’s a spill that an employee comes across – integrity helps them recognize that this should be cleaned up to prevent someone from falling, even if they didn’t cause the spill.
In the case of harassment, it’s all too common for bystanders to do or say nothing, for fear of retaliation either by the offender or the organization if they report it.
In a culture that doesn’t value integrity, it’s too easy for people to ignore problems and expect someone else to fix them.
Compliance is really the end result (and just one of the benefits) of a culture where people look out for each other’s best interests, rather than only their own.
Don’t Let Compliance Training Be a Stumbling Block
You may be thinking, “That’s all great, but how do we continually make those values known while keeping up with compliance training for audits?”
Training administration doesn’t need to be a hassle, especially when it comes time for audits. There are a lot of great resources out there to help you deliver and track compliance training online, along with providing follow up quizzes, and even post-training reinforcement boosts to improve employees’ retention of what was covered.
Your training program as a whole is a great way to keep up a consistent message about what your organization stands for.
“Communicating values is much like a marketing campaign—it needs to capture people’s attention and use different content, formats, and communication channels to remain fresh.”
Employees don’t always have to be taken off the job to complete compliance training. When you provide mobile-ready, online training content, they’ll have the opportunity to engage with training wherever they work, and not see it as something that only matters in the classroom. Utilizing online solutions to provide engaging training content can help you reinforce a message of respect and integrity, while making administrative requirements a breeze.
Want to learn more about how you can leverage compliance to create a more positive and effective organizational culture?
Register for our free webinar, presented by Cassie Whitlock of BambooHR and Libby Powers of BizLibrary, and gain a better understanding of how to be proactive, rather than reactive, with your approach to compliance.